Shetland's coastline is dramatically beautiful
Discover the inspiration behind Ann Cleeve's gritty "Shetland" series
Enjoy the unspoiled landscapes of the Shetland islands
View the lighthouse on the island of Bressay
If you are lucky, you might even spot some seals
The Scandinavian-looking scenic village of Voe
Your second Shetland hotel dates from the 1500's
Meet the locals!
Shetland's 2000 year old neolithic Mousa Broch
Travel to Unst to see the island's Viking long ship replica
You're sure to receive a warm welcome here
This is a magical place, with a completely different feel from the rest of Scotland. What's more, the Shetland Isles are experiencing ever increasing popularity thanks to BBC's hit TV series “Shetland” based on Ann Cleeve's gritty, iconic crime stories.
The easiest and quickest route to Shetland is by air, and with regular daily flights taking around ninety minutes from Glasgow or Edinburgh, this is a convenient option to maximise your time in this most unique and remote part of the UK.
Your hire car will give you the opportunity to explore during your three night stay. The dramatic coastline is never far away, while causeways and short local ferry crossings make trips to neighbouring islands quite possible - the adventurous may even want to head as far north as possible to view the wonderfully-named Muckle Flugga lighthouse. We will provide plenty of suggestions for you.
After collecting your hire car by the airport, you will head north to your first hotel based in Scalloway - Shetland's ancient capital.
Your hotel in Scalloway
This family-run hotel, bar and restaurant overlooking the picturesque waterfront of Shetland's former capital is a mere 6 miles from Lerwick. The hotel's two AA rosette is popular with locals and visitors alike. Rooms are all simply decorated, with sheepskin rugs, soft furnishings of Shetland tweed from Jamiesons Mill in the village of Sandness, and local art on the walls.
Days Two & Three
Today you will head further north to the small village of Brae where you will spend two nights.
Your hotel in the West Mainland
Set on the edge of a village overlooking a peaceful bay, the original, historic building dates from the 1500’s and has benefited from many tasteful additions throughout the centuries. Low ceilings, winding corridors, steep steps and sloping floors all add to the characterful ambiance of the place which, rumour has it, includes its very own ghost. Guests comment on the friendly welcome and traditional service they have received here, and the hotel even has royal connections. Guests can enjoy meals in the hotel bar or restaurant, both of which offer high quality, locally-sourced produce. All the bedrooms are individually decorated and named after the surrounding isles, and have views of the bay or the gardens, complete with trees – a rare and welcome occurrence on Shetland.
Things to See & Do on Shetland
You could perhaps take a short trip on the passenger ferry to visit impressive Mousa Broch, an Iron Age round tower and one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings in the world. For something rather different, you could follow a craft trail, popping in to galleries and wee shops, where you will find traditional items, such as fair isle knits, or more contemporary textiles. Or you could take the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Ann Cleeves' Shetland crime dramas, recently filmed on location by the BBC.
If you are interested in recent history and stories of great bravery and heroism, head into Scalloway, with its Scandinavian-style painted houses and fascinating museum about the "Shetland Bus" - the secret wartime operation supporting the Norwegian resistance.
The dramatic cliffs of Eshaness are within a short drive, and this is an ideal location to head north by ferry to Yell and Unst, perhaps to look out to Britain's most northerly point - the Muckle Flugga lighthouse. There's plenty to explore on Unst - from a reconstructed Viking longhouse to the Shetland Ales craft brewery and Foords' Chocolates, where you can sample the delights made on the premises. Don't forget to stop and admire/photograph the famous Unst Bus Shelter - complete with carpet, comfy seats, TV and themed decorations - one of Britain's most quirky attractions - it even has its own website and visitors' book!
We are also able to arrange private or small group tours with an expert guide, who will be able to give you the insight only a local can offer - ask us for more details.
Day Four - Return home
We can arrange flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness or Aberdeen, and connecting services from Southampton, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Gatwick.
£495 per person for January (excluding 22nd to 27th) & February £530 per person for March £550 per person for April & October, £585 per person for May to September. Prices based on 2 adults sharing a room, for 3 nights on a bed & breakfast basis, 4 days hire of a small manual car and return flights from Edinburgh or Glasgow.
We can also arrange private or small group day tours with a local guide - ask us for more details.
All our holidays include a map of Scotland with recommended routes from your specified starting point, suggestions on places to see and visit depending on your personal interests and our expertise to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £8 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday. We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value.
All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
Check availability for: Shetland Fly drive
This holiday is available from March to October.
To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us on 0141 308 8009 from the UK, or toll-free from USA & Canada 1 866 922 8538 and +44 141 308 8009 for all other countries.
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We enjoyed a wonderful break away. The hotel was good. The car and pick up procedure were excellent. The weather was wonderful, the plane journey unproblematic and Anna at McKinlay Kidd was wonderful.
I really enjoyed the personal touch in an increasingly impersonal world.